Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Style Brush Strokes 2 of 5: Absolutes

What am I reading now?  Lost Prince (Julie Kagawa)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Another great kick-off book for an exciting series! The story connects to Kagawa's Iron Fey series. There are new characters and some interactions with the characters we love from the first four books (See my reviews of the first series here:
Iron King, Iron Daughter, Iron Queen
and Iron Knight)

Ethan Chase's life changed when his sister, Maegan, left the human world to become the Iron Queen. But really it changed way before that...when he was kidnapped and taken into the faery realm at age 4. Since then he has been able to see past the glamour that hides most non-humans from the notice of normal people. He wants nothing to do with that world. Nothing.

His choice changes when a girl from his high school (that he wouldn't dare fall for--yeah, right) is dragged into the nightmare that is his life. He might want to turn his back on all things Fey but he must save her.
Here are the first two lines: My name is Ethan Chase. And I doubt I'll live to see my eighteenth birthday.

Style Brush Strokes Part 2 of 5
by Harry Noden
2•Absolute: is a description using a two-­word combination of a noun + a participle (an ing-­verb or ed-­verb), an absolute zooms into a detail of the
whole picture, absolute phrases add to the meaning of the independent sentence they modify
The climber edged along the cliff.
The climber edged along the cliff, hands shaking, feet trembling. 
Practice: Find the the absolute(s)
“The mummy was moving. The mummy’s right arm was outstretched, the torn wrappings hanging from it, as the being stepped out of its gilded box! The scream froze in her throat. The thing was coming towards her—towards Henry, who stood with his back to it—moving with a weak shuffling gait, that arm outstretched before it, the dust rising from the rotting linen that covered it, a great smell of dust and decay filling the room. (Ann Rice—The Mummy)
Apply: Identify a basic sentence in your WIP where you can use an absolute and rewrite the sentence.
This series of posts are just a VERY SMALL sampling 
of the types of writing exercises in Noden's book.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Style Brush Strokes 1 of 5: Participles

What am I reading now?  The Raven Boys (Maggie Stiefvater)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? Al the women in Blue's family are psychics--except Blue. SHe wants to experience magic the way they do; to see the future, to interpret the past, to talk with the dead, but she can't. Until she sits at the ruins of an old church on St. Mark's Eve as the soon-to-be dead parade past and one of them talks to her--only to her. Then she finds out that that spirit could talk to her for one of two reasons, and both reasons are bad--very, very bad.
      Just a little on the dark and creepy side of magic stories with the secrets all the characters have.

Style Brush Strokes Part 1 of 5
Image Grammar by Harry Noden

1•Participle: description that is supplied by ing-­verbs or ed-­verbs (they are not the verb/predicate of the sentence; a participle is a verb used as an adjective) tagged on to the beginning or ending of sentences.

Basic sentence: The diamond-­‐scaled snakes attacked their prey.”
Participle at the beginning: “Hissing, slithering and coiling, the diamond-­‐ scaled snakes attacked their prey.”

Practice: Find the basic sentence and the participle phrase(s)
“Shifting the weight of the line to his left shoulder and kneeling carefully, he washed his hand in the ocean and held it there, submerged, for more than a minute, watching the blood trail away and the steady movement of the water against his hand as the boat moved.” (Hemingway—Old Man and the Sea)

Apply: Choose a basic sentence from your current WIP. Change it by adding a participle/participle phrase to the beginning or ending of that sentence. Post the new sentence in the chat.

*All of the brush strokes presented in this series should be used with judicious thought before hand and not to excess. :)
Come back next week for the second brush stroke.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall into Fantasy Giveaway Hop !

What am I reading now? Timber Wolves Trilogy (Tammy Blackwell)
Annnd . . . what do I think so far? Love a good paranormal fantasy book with a strong Alpha or two! Or three? Scout Donovan doesn't believe in myths, magic or fate--until they all gang up on her together.

There is a great romance behind this action-induced story of family and friendship. At first I was like--yeah, I know who the true love is going to be. Then I was like--What? It's him?

Thanks for visiting today; I have a TriCk oR trEaT special.

On this blog, you can win a $20 Amazon (US) gift card to use toward the purchase of your next favorite fantasy book!

To enter, all you need to do is:

1. Become a follower of my blog. (click on the blue "Join this Site" button and follow directions. You must appear in the blog followers to be eligible in the drawing. The button is in the right side-bar, about half-way down.)

2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what makes a book one of your favorites. If your e-mail address isn't visible through your Blogger profile, please also leave it with the comment so I can notify you if you win. You can enter from now until midnight Mountain Time on October 21, 2012.

That's it! You are now entered. Now please go visit all my friends on their blogs to sign up for more give aways in the FalL iNto FanTaSY hoP . Check out the Blog Hop list at the top of my right-hand sidebar to see a list of participating blogs. (Which has disappeared now that the blog hop is over.) Just click on each link, check out the prize, and follow the easy instructions to enter. You can enter on each blog, so it's possible to win multiple times. It's frighteningly easy.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

AND the Winner is: EBAKER!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cover Love

What am I reading now? Everneath (Brodi Ashton)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? This is a very emotional, wrenching retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth. Oh but if you know that story, you will still be surprised by the twist the author took for this one.

For Nikki Beckett life can't get worse than her mother's death in a car accident--um except it does, when she is lured into the Everneath (think Hades kinda sorta) for a hundred years. Everything she knew, and everything she thought she was changes. She wonders if she can have a life back, can she love again, and can she say good bye this time?

And the cover--AMAZING!

Here are a few more book covers I love:

Maybe it's the dress, but I love the castle in the background and the flowers and vines drawn around the bottom and edges.

Or it could be the movement inherent in the image. There is a feeling of torture and loss in this photo.

Maybe the intriguing part of this cover are the questions that it initiates. Who is he? What is he holding?? Where is he standing??? Why is he dressed that way (niiiice but why)????

Sometimes the cover hints at an impossible situation.

Or a trap.

And sometimes it's just the kiss . . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe--Pan Gravy

What am I reading now?  Accidentally Amish (Olivia Newport)

Annd . . . what do I think so far?  Annie Friesen has it all; young, beautiful, a great education, and her technology business is wildly successful. She also has a business partner who is attempting to claim her intellectual property and a kiss-and-steal ex-boyfriend and her business's lawyer who has been manipulating her for--how long? That's the question, isn't it? So as I said, she has it all, but now she has to fight to keep it. And hide a bit too.

     When she exiles herself to a small rural town in the mountains of Colorado, she finds herself questioning her own desires and values. Watching the lives of local Amish community members (particularly Rufus Beiler that makes her heart race) prods her to reexamine her future. She makes the only choice she can--she has to be true to herself.

     When I first started reading this book, I thought it might fit into the New Adult age group. That's a little out of the age range I usually go for on this blog; but I thought perhaps juniors and seniors would like to read it. I try to stick with the Young Adult category, books of interest in the 13-18 year-old group--junior high and high school students.

     Now that I've finished it, I don't think it's New Adult. It seems more adult Christian romance. Although the characters technically fit the age range for New Adult, the focus on family history ages it up for me. That said, I did enjoy the book.

Random Recipe Post
My Geneology--In a Foodie Way

My grandmother made a simple pan gravy that is a family favorite for us.

Fry pork chops in a little oil. Leave all the bits of drippings on the pan when you remove the chops.

Stir in heavy whipping cream and deglaze the pan. The cream takes on a light copper color. Yes, boiling the milk causes a skin to form as the gravy cools, so serve it hot.

We break chunks of French bread and dip it directly into the pan on the table.